Landscape Solutions for Awkward Spaces

Electric meters, air conditioning units and blank walls disappear with these landscaping tricks.

Related To:

  1. Landscaping
  2. Pergolas

Sad Pond


Before: This sad little pond does little to distract from the very visible electric meter and utility line.

Painted Trellis


After: A custom cedar trellis is painted and adorned with flower pots, provides the background for a secondary seating area in the yard. In another part of the yard, a bubbling boulder adds the sight and sound of moving water.

Cold Patio


Before: This cold, gray urban patio needs to look less like a dead-end basement and more like a pleasant outdoor living space.

Rustic Retreat


After: Natural materials like a simple wood table and chairs, and plants chosen for their foliage and texture turn the cold basement patio into a rustic retreat. Terra-cotta tiles laid on the diagonal create the illusion of a larger space.

Blank Wall


Before: The side of the garage is the main feature in this small backyard.

Bamboo Pergola


After: The blank wall recedes into the background, and a bamboo pergola, Japanese lantern and fountain help create a beautiful Asian-style garden. The bamboo, cut from neighbors' groves, also provides the low-cost cover for a rain barrel.

Rain Barrel


After: Rain barrels are useful commodities for the backyard, but even the newest and best can be a distraction in the landscape. Here, leftover bamboo from the pergola project serves as a nifty cover for the rain barrel.

Exposed AC Unit


Before: This area in the yard is the only place a new patio can be accommodated, but what about the air-conditioning unit that has center stage?

New Pergola


Photo By: Picasa 2.7

Picasa 2.7

After: A pergola provides dappled shade for the new patio and, in the corner, yews flank the air conditioner. The yews will grow thickly around the unit and hide it, but because they're not prickly, accessing the unit won't be a problem.

Hazardous Rocks


Before: Visitors on the footbridge that connects garage and house get a bird's-eye view of this awkward space. The jumble of rocks makes walking hazardous, and light is poor.

Play Area


After: Artificial turf and a recycled composite deck provide a place for tots to play. A seating area under the overhang is flanked by a Japanese rain arch that provides soothing sounds and visual interest.

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